When you consider that many employees spend a huge portion of their waking hours at work, it only makes sense that their well-being at work affects the rest of their life significantly. It helps to understand that there’s a lot of things employers can do to help both physical and mental health. Employers undertake wellness programs for a number of reasons. Some relate to improving productivity and reducing expense, but one important reason is that employers truly care. Employees are the core of the company and doing the best to keep the core happy and healthy is important.
Studies show that mental health issues costs billions each year.
There’s more to the cost of mental issues than just the treatment and medication. However, even that is expensive and often why health care programs reduce the amount they’ll pay for mental health care. One study showed that mental disorders were the most costly illness in the US, with a cost of $201 billion for 2013 that was higher than even heart disease or cancer. Lost wages due to mental illness are estimated at $192.3 billion.
There’s also a link between physical disease and anxiety and depression.
Not only is there a link between physical disease and anxiety or depression, the link is significant. In fact, the association between heart attack fatalities and depression are the same as they are between heart disease and diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. It only makes sense to help identify the emotional problem as early as possible to prevent it from becoming overwhelming. Some of the same efforts for good physical health also apply for good mental health. Exercise and a healthy diet can reduce and even eliminate anxiety and depression.
Wellness programs can help lower stress levels, too.
Stress plays a significant role in exasperating mental health conditions. It increases anxiety and can lead to depression. Many aspects of physical wellness programs also address stress. Not only does it reduce physical and mental health issues, it can also make the workplace safer. In fact, OSHA— Occupational Safety and Health Administration—said stress was a workplace hazard. Learning coping mechanisms is important, particularly in today’s hectic world where schedule demands, deadlines and even personality conflicts can exist.
- Workplace mental health programs provide coping skills. They also take the stigma out of having an emotional or mental health problem. Identifying a problem and seeking help can reduce unhealthy behavior as a coping mechanism.
- Stress can cause illness. It can trigger insomnia, rapid heartbeat, muscle aches and pains—as well as high blood pressure and stomach issues. The two are linked. If you want to make the most of a wellness program, it needs both mental and physical components.
- Not only does productivity increase when there’s a physical and mental wellness program, so does the quality of the work. There’s an improved focus when mental health issues like depression, stress and anxiety are under control.
- A company that shows they truly care about employees to help them live healthier, both physically and mentally gives a feeling to employees that they truly matter, which tends to increase morale.
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